Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and State Trustees launch a partnership

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and State Trustees have launched a partnership today, World Elder Abuse Day. The partnership will focus on educating professionals from both organisations to work more effectively with older Victorians who have dementia, in order to help identify and prevent financial elder abuse.

This mutually beneficial partnership will involve State Trustees employees participating in Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s dementia-related education modules. In turn, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic employees will participate in professional development from State Trustees which will focus on identifying and managing financial elder abuse.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic CEO Maree McCabe said there is great synergy in this partnership.

“Like State Trustees, we’re working to support older Victorians in a variety of ways. Our employees will benefit significantly from having access to the expertise of State Trustees employees around preventing elder financial abuse. Unfortunately people with dementia are more vulnerable to financial abuse as their capacity to detect this may be compromised,” Ms McCabe said.

State Trustees CEO Craig Dent said, “By working together we’re addressing a very serious societal issue, where someone, usually a family member, friend or carer, takes advantage of an elderly person to exploit them for financial gain.

“Both Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and State Trustees are upskilling employees to understand how to better protect older people from financial abuse by creating plans and safeguards for them when they are at their most vulnerable. In the early stages of dementia, there is a real opportunity to protect a person from abuse by ensuring their affairs are in order,” Mr Dent added.

Financial elder abuse is difficult to track, but State Trustees’ research shows that up to five percent of people in Victoria over 65 have experienced financial abuse, most commonly by their children. Commons signs of financial elder abuse include missing belongings, fear, stress and anxiety expressed by an older person, and significant bank withdrawals or transfers.